betê mika'el (2012)
For solo piano
Written written for: Ben Powell
bete mika’el is an anacient rock-hewn church, one of eleven such churches found at the Lalibela World Heritage site in Ethiopia. Carved downwards into a rocky hillside, from the outside bete mika’el is almost entirely invisible, only a few characteristic akusmite windows can be seen via the chapel’s east trench. Inside however, the church is highly ornate – comprising a single large chamber, structurally assured by at least eleven ornate individual pillars (all carved monolithically from the solid rock of the hillside).
The piano piece is constructed from a group of materials, labelled as ‘archetypal forms’ in my musical sketches. Each ‘archetypal form’ could be described as material stereotypes, including contrapuntal forms, chorale-like forms and melodic forms amongst others. This group of materials are arbitrarily superimposed- or perhaps collided is a better word here - in different combinations, often entangling together into a confused mass of highly dense music. Sometimes particular forms rise to the surface and become clarified, whilst others are mutilated and distorted by that which is layered upon them
Approximately 9 minutes